Rates of asthma for adults and children go up every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
“The number of people diagnosed with asthma grew by 4.3 million from 2001 to 2009. From 2001 through 2009 asthma rates rose the most among black children, almost a 50% increase. Asthma was linked to 3,447 deaths (about 9 per day) in 2007.”
Children have the highest rate of asthma, over 9% and the statistics are much worse for low-income and minority kids.
We don’t know specifically why asthma rates are rising so steeply, but we do know that there are greater levels of environmental triggers both indoors and outdoors in the US today.
- Particulate pollution
- Diesel exhaust
- Dust mites
- Secondhand smoke
- Wood smoke
- Cats and dogs
- Chemicals from cleaning products and building materials
Some of these triggers are difficult to avoid, but the smoke from tobacco products, that we have a choice about.
Of course, these are the triggers for asthma attacks in those who already have asthma. How can we help kids avoid getting asthma in the first place? Don’t smoke while pregnant! The risks are broader than just asthma: miscarriage, birth defects, low birth weight and other complications can come from smoking during pregnancy.
The new study, however, has linked prenatal smoking to asthma in children who are not exposed to secondhand smoke after they are born.
There are clearly many good reasons to quit smoking if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the near future. Keeping your child from being an asthma statistic is certainly one of them!
Smoking during pregnancy is linked to increased risks of miscarriage, low birth weight, certain birth defects and other pregnancy complications.
We hope that you will consider quitting smoking before your baby is adversely affected by this known carcinogen and asthma trigger!